How many Black ballet dancers are there in American ballet? While American ballet companies employ a large number of international dancers, ballet has been criticized for a lack of diversity, specifically regarding Black dancers. While increasingly discussed in articles and opinion pieces, ballet insiders are aware that this issue has been persistent. Written pieces raise … Continue reading The Missing 53: Black Representation in Ballet
Data on dance and specifically ballet is largely private, kept for internal review within arts organizations. So when I began this project, the role of data collection in ballet was unclear. The task seemed intractable. Limited information, spread out between many, many company websites. What insight could be gained? Would there be anything meaningful at … Continue reading A Role for Data in Ballet
What are the hiring practices of different American ballet companies? Last time we looked at hiring and dancer retention, the focus was on the top 6 companies for the 2018 - 2019 season (https://pointes.data.blog/2019/05/12/youre-hired-fired/). This year at Data Pointes, we've followed up that data but also expanded analysis to the top 22 US companies (well, … Continue reading Hiring Revisited (Part 1)
What are the most common paths to getting into a top American ballet company? One of the major goals of Data Pointes is to aid in career decision-making by providing relevant data - empowering dancers, educators, and parents. After a lot of hard work, I am proud to announce the creation of The American Ballet … Continue reading Introducing The American Ballet Network
A hypothetical situation. You go to [Big Shot Company]'s summer intensive. They invite you to join their affiliate school year-round. Teenage you is floored by the immensity of this decision as are your parents. You'll have to move away from home but you think maybe it's worth it for a better chance at your dream company. What do you do?
What are the hiring practices of top American ballet companies? Hiring, firing, and moving is a regular part of the ballet world. Companies are made up of dancers in their first season, all the way up to their 24th season (San Francisco Ballet Principal, Yuan Yuan Tan). Ballet is dynamic and let's be honest - … Continue reading You’re Hired/Fired!
Where do top American ballet dancers come from? Out of the 467 dancers in the top 7 American ballet companies, 158 were born outside of the United States (33.8%). Elite ballet has been an international endeavor for a while. Competitions, international company auditions, and video auditions have allowed foreign-born talent to more effectively seek jobs … Continue reading Where You From?
How many male and female dancers are in the top American ballet companies? The most basic of breakdowns. Above is a waffle plot where each square is an individual dancer - categorized by company, gender, and rank. Some straightforward patterns appear in the structure of the companies. First off, the range in company size is … Continue reading The Gender/Rank Breakdown
The Premise As a ballet dancer, you start to develop a sense of "what" and "who" ballet is. You'll see shows, attend summer intensives, and eventually join companies where you'll discover the type of person who makes it. We all have preconceived ideas about our fellow dancers. But are they actually true? I've analyzed publicly-available … Continue reading Introducing Data Pointes